Three days in a row I’ve been woken up in the rudest way possible. The Rooster. It’s true that animals have accents and the Ghanaian rooster’s accent is not as appealing as the Northern Hemisphere (I’m actually not very sure where it’s from) accent of the Kellogg’s rooster’s cock-a-doodle-doo. It’s a more strained, desperate crow and it starts at like 4am, if not earlier. I find myself walking around my grandmother’s town eyeing up all the roosters that pass trying to sense which one is the main perpetrator. The main guy is obviously trying to out-do the rest, he’s not content with just joining in the morning song, he must be the loudest and longest/most strained crow of the lot. He’s also out of time with the rhythm of the rest. And to make matters worse he lives the closest or at least chooses just beneath my window as his Speaker’s Corner.
Ghanaians living abroad will romanticise the rooster wake-up call, I used to. My grandma says I will soon grow immune to it, I hope so. Right now though, I’m gonna take so much pleasure in eating egg and chicken knowing that’s one less rooster to ruin my morning.
Just as I was to publish this post, screams of “it wasn’t me” in the local Twi were heard down the street. It was another kind of desperation, I feared the person screaming was accused of theft and would soon be necklaced as these things do still happen and my first trip to Ghana (in 1999) featured a necklacing in the town. Turns out the denial was from a lady who had just been told her husband had been electrocuted at work and had died (“It wasn’t me” being her denial that it was really her husband they were referring to). Turns out the man is a relative of mine in a distant-yet-close kind of way that at least leads my grandmother, close to tears and with a duty to call her sister and cousin who are away in the village at the funeral of yet another distant-but-close relative. Yaw’s workshop is by the roadside, he deals with electricity and his workplace is but under a tree, no warehouse or industrial park. It rained today, he was wet and so was his equipment. He had a son, about 10 months old who was being nursed by his mother when she found out. Another rude awakening, in three days the mirage of a holiday has gone and the reality of living amongst the suffering of Africans hustling just crowed desperate and strained and heart-piercingly loud.